Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) announced it is launching a three-month “Season of Support” drive aimed at campaigning for small businesses. The initiative is set to begin with Black-owned businesses, that compared to others, have been closing down twice as rapidly throughout the pandemic.
A unique hashtag of #BuyBlackFriday has been assigned in order to spread awareness. Users will be able to share posts in support of a particular business, and a show will be streamed every Friday showcasing owners, entertainers and musical artists.
“Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, wrote in a Thursday blog post while introducing the new project. “But we know that millions of people want to help.”
The operation will be up from October 30 to November 27, through Black Friday. Black-owned businesses can also ask for a toolkit to help magnify the campaign. Furthermore, Facebook is set to release a Gift Guide for #BuyBlack that will include items from several categories.
“We will be working closely with the US Black Chambers, an influential network of Black entrepreneurs, to encourage people to #BuyBlack over the holidays,” she added, “and we are confident that millions of people will want to join in.”
Nevertheless, there has still been commotion within Facebook itself regarding racism. During the summer, a Black manager within the company and two other Black people that had applied for jobs, filed a complaint with the with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for alleged discrimination.
“The holiday season for retail is a trillion-dollar opportunity in terms of sales,” Michelle Klein, vice president of global customer marketing said. “this year is going to be different, we want to make sure that small businesses truly get their fair share of that pie. Because it could be literally make-or-break for many of these businesses that have had to pivot significantly to find new business models, find new revenue streams and need help and resources on how to get it done.”